would changing things like eye color, hair color, texture and skin color be easier then actually fully shape shifting?
Yeah. Way easier. Just look up glamour spells.
yeah but that’s just illusions, I’m looking for actual physical changes
Pigmentation is sort of easy, but hard to get right. I have brown hair but when I was young it was blond, if I do some work on it I can get it to look much lighter, but it’s not permanent because the genetic triggers are still producing melanin. So in that sense, it would only be easier because pigmentation belongs to a kind of cell that can still be actively changed, unlike bones and such. Ideally, you would want to do actual genetic work on them, and that seems to be easier with things that are seen as actual problems that your body or unconscious can agree should go away, vanity issues don’t make sense to the primitive mind.
Hack your body.
I recommend the book Inner Alchemy by Taylor Ellwood, which describes magical techniques for contacting the “spirits” of your body to initiate change.
so I’ve heard, this was actually my next step